Sunday, June 29, 2008

No more men

I'm delighted to report that all the men are gone. All the bothersome, pesky, calling too much, pushy, annoying men are gone.

And do I miss them? Well, just a little.

For the last couple of weeks, since I've been here, since I first got that last minute Friday call from Greg (who was the first to show up and the first to exit the scene), I've been trying to change my attitude. (I've been trying to change my attitude for as long as I've been writing here, so what's new?)

I was so annoyed with him for making a super vague plan and then waiting for a week and a half to follow up on the day of the super vague plan. Yet, had he really done anything "wrong"? He just hadn't acted as I would have had him act. But did it matter? He wasn't going to be my boyfriend. At the least, he'd be nothing, at the best…a friend.

If he'd been more attentive, I would have liked it. But when Fred became super-attentive, I didn't like it--because I didn't like Fred.

And what about the guy this weekend? (New guy was only here for the weekend, visiting from Norway.) Well, we had a great time on Friday night and made plans for Saturday night. He showed up at my place an hour late (due to a misunderstanding: he thought there was a time difference between Paris and Oslo; he was wrong) and then said he had to go home early. I was crushed. Seriously. Ridiculous! I was only ever going to see him on these two days, so what difference did it make?

I build up expectations and when they aren't met, I'm crushed.

But, to get back to what I was saying. When Greg called to firm up those last minute plans and I grudgingly went along with it (though I smiled and acted happy), I said to myself (I actually wrote to myself, during class) that I wanted to be a more carefree person who rolls along and accepts, graciously, happily, what comes and that I was just going to act that way and hope that maybe by going through the motions, I'd start to feel that way.

The good news is that the day I went to lunch with Greg, I had a fine, pleasant time. So, he didn't call me again. That's ok. I wasn't crushed.

I thought: fake it 'til you make it.

It's stupid, I suppose, but I've been saying that to myself a lot these last few weeks. "Fake it 'til you make it." I never really understood what it meant, but I think I do now. It's like those studies that show that if you smile, you'll feel happier. Just the physical act of smiling can make you feel better.

So, as I waited on Saturday for my Norwegian CL "strictly platonic" buddy to show up and it got later and later, I was sure I was being stood up. I couldn't believe it. I tried to call some friends and no one was home. I looked at the "stuff on my cat" webpage and I did smile and laugh and start to feel better. Then I called Audrey and she had time to talk. I told her I was being stood up and she said, "that sucks" but instead of telling her my sad story (wallowing is bad, plus, I couldn't talk about it), she volunteered to tell me a few of her stories--funny vignettes about her son. I laughed and that helped. I would have happily stayed on the phone with her, but the guy showed up, so I had to say goodbye.

Yes, he did show up. I wasn't being stood up. He came in, examined my music collection (on the computer), judged me, just a little, by my taste in music (sigh). We went for a beer and talked about movies (and a little about other things). Around 11:30, I took him to the bus stop. I figured out the bus wasn't running so I walked him to the metro and showed him which line he could take without having to transfer. He thanked me, said I should email him with movie recommendations, and gave me a hug.

Why does that story make me sad? I should be happy, right? I finally had a chance to talk to someone at length whom I actually liked and who actually "got" me (at least a little)…oh, ok, never mind. I get it.

This is the hard part of being so on my own and isolated. It's hard to get the kind of rapport going with strangers that I have with my true friends. I'm starting to miss it. Getting a little glimpse of it, well, it was great in the moment but then it felt like a loss. A tiny, little loss that will be mourned for a day and then forgotten. I don't expect that I've made a life-long friend and that's ok. If I feel like emailing him, I will. More importantly, I'll try and appreciate the short and enjoyable time we spent together. It's what I wanted and I have no regrets.

Fake it 'til you make it.

Grateful for: the chance to practice.

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